Caponata 1

1-1/2 lbs. eggplant
Lemon juice and salt
1 cup each finely diced celery, red bell pepper and onions
2 cup canned, seeded chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup canned chopped black olives
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
4 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
3/4-1 cup olive oil
Garlic powder
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2-3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. anchovies, mashed

Dice unpeeled eggplant, sprinkle with lemon juice, then generously sprinkle with salt. Let stand in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then squeeze all moisture out with a towel. Meanwhile, place half of olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute until transparent, but not browned. Add celery and red peppers and cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Heat remaining olive oil until hot. Add eggplant and cook, shaking pan frequently, until golden brown. Add onion / celery mixture to skillet along with tomatoes, sauce, anchovy puree, green olives, sugar and vinegar. Season with additional salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently for about 20-30 minutes. Mixture will reduce to a relish consistency. Remove from heat, stir in capers and cool. Just before serving add black olives. Excellent served with toast points, canned artichoke bottoms, zucchini slices, celery, etc.

Serves 20.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana